A car isn’t really an impulse purchase (unless you’re very, very wealthy). So a lot of research is probably the first step you take. You take a good look at things such as gas mileage, overall price, and customer reviews. Google is your best friend right now. This level of research is logical! For most people who aren’t wealthy, it will take a while to pay off the thousands of dollars you’re about to spend. So you want to be certain it’s worth it!
You’ll be considering how your purchase best suits your lifestyle and also practical things such as safety, gas mileage, etc. Is there a specific style of vehicle you really enjoy? Do you need a lot of room to carry things around? How much pep do you need to feel when you push down that accelerator?
In other words, to get the most out of your new car, you have to examine your options and make some choices. And when you’re picking out new hearing aids, it’s essential to have this same attitude. They may not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they’re still an investment. And getting the most out of your investment means determining which devices work best, in general, as well as what delivers the most for your lifestyle.
The advantages of hearing aids
The example of the benefits of investing in hearing aids can be broadly compared with the example of buying a car. Hearing aids are pretty great!
The advantages of hearing aids, for most individuals, are more tangible than simply helping you hear. Staying connected with your family and friends will be a lot easier with a good set of hearing aids. You’ll have an easier time chatting with the clerk at the pharmacy, listening to a tale about dinosaurs at the dinner table with your grandchildren, and enjoying conversations with friends.
It’s only natural that you would want to make your hearing aids last as long as possible given all of the benefits. You want to keep those benefits going!
Do more expensive hearing aids work better?
There might be some people out there who would assume that the most effective way to make your hearing aid work better and last longer is to just buy the most high priced device they can.
Hearing aids are definitely an investment. There’s a reason why some hearing aids are costly in the first place:
- The technology inside of a hearing aid is very small and very sophisticated. That means you’re paying for a very potent technological package.
- They’re made to be long-lasting. If you take good care of them this is particularly true.
But that doesn’t mean the most costly option will automatically work best. How severe your hearing loss is and, obviously, your budget are a couple of the factors to consider. Do some hearing aids last longer than others? Sure! But that isn’t always dictated by how costly the device was in the first place.
As with any other investment, hearing aids will require regular maintenance in order to continue working properly. Also, your hearing loss is distinct to you and your hearing aids will have to be programmed to your specific needs.
Be sure you get the correct hearing aids for you
What choices do you have? When it comes to hearing aids, you’ll have several different styles and kinds to pick from. You can work with us to determine which ones are best for you and your hearing needs. Here are the options you will have to choose from:
- Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC): These types of hearing aids can deliver high-quality sound and are typically quite discrete (perfect for individuals who want to hide their hearing aids). But with this kind of hearing aid, battery life, and overall lifespan is often shorter. The small size also means you don’t get some of the most sophisticated functions.
- In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC): These hearing aids are mostly discrete because they are molded to your ear canal. Because they’re a bit larger than CIC models, they might include more high-tech functions. Some of these features can be somewhat tricky to manipulate by hand (because the devices are still quite small). If you want your hearing aid to be discrete but also include some advanced features, this type will be appropriate.
- In-the-Ear Hearing Aids: This style of hearing aid is molded to sit entirely in your outer ear. A “half shell” version fits in your lower ear and a “full shell” version fits totally inside your ear. If you have complex hearing problems or need more powerful noise control, the more advanced technology and larger microphones will make these hearing aids the perfect choice.
- Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE): The speaker of this device sits in your ear and the more bulky electronic part goes behind your ear making them the best of both worlds in a way. The two parts are connected by a little tube, but for the most part, it’s pretty non-visible. These devices are popular because they provide many amplification choices. When you want the best of both power and visibility, these devices will be the best option.
- Receiving-in-the-Canal (or in the Ear) Hearing Aids (RIC or RITE): With this design, the speaker part sits in the ear canal but they are otherwise a lot like BTE models. They have the advantage of decreasing wind noise and are usually less visible.
- Open-Fit Hearing Aids: Open-fit hearing aids will let low-frequency sounds enter the ear even while you’re using the device. This makes them a good fit for people who can hear those low-frequencies pretty well (but have problems with high-frequency sounds). It isn’t a good choice for all types of hearing loss, but it does work well for many individuals.
What about over-the-counter hearing aids?
Over-the-counter hearing aids (or OTC hearing aids, to keep inundating you with acronyms) are yet another option to think about. The difficulty is that OTC hearing aids are sort of like OTC medications, they work okay in a basic sense. But it’s likely that OTC hearing aids won’t have the power you require if your hearing loss is more pronounced or complex. Prescription hearing aids can be calibrated to your particular hearing needs which is an option generally not provided by OTC hearing aids.
Regardless of what type of hearing aid you choose to buy, it’s always a smart idea to speak with us about what might work best for your specific requirements.
Repair and upkeep
Of course, once you’ve gone to all the trouble to select your perfect hearing aid type, you need to take care of it. Just like your car requires oil changes once in a while.
So, now you’re thinking: how often should my hearing aids be assessed? You should get your hearing aid cleaned and properly maintained every six months to a year. By doing this you can be sure everything is in good working order.
It’s also a good idea to be somewhat familiar with your device’s warranty. You will save some cash when you are familiar with what is and isn’t covered. A good warranty and regular upkeep will help your hearing last as long as possible.
Is there a hearing aid that’s the best?
There isn’t a single best all-time hearing aid. If you go to see twelve different hearing specialists and request the “best” hearing aid, they might provide you with a dozen different models.
The key is to choose the best hearing aid for you and for your needs. Just like with an automobile, for some an SUV will be best, and for others, a minivan will best fit their lifestyles. It all just depends, and the same goes for hearing aids.
But the more you know beforehand and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to find the hearing aids that are ideal for you. Schedule a hearing assessment with us today!